Hi. My name is Carl. And I love philosophy. I grew up in a Christian home and therefore the Bible forms a very important reference point from which my philosophical thinking emerged. I have a natural talent for mathematics and I am inclined to think very rationally about things. After school I studied electrical engineering and proceeded to do a master degree in electronic engineering. Although I worked for a few years as an engineer, it so happened that I landed at a high school where I now teach mathematics.
I decided to start this blog to voice my worldview and to write about Christianity, in particular how it can fit into the modern knowledge base. In the light of modern science it is becoming increasingly difficult to defend conventional Christianity. The first thing that comes to mind is the topic of evolution. In 1973, biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky wrote that “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution, because it has brought to light the relations of what first seemed disjointed facts in natural history into a coherent explanatory body of knowledge that describes and predicts many observable facts about life on this planet” *. Many Christians deny evolution by referring to the missing link. However, the phrase “missing link” is misleading in at least two ways. First, most of the transitional forms in vertebrate evolution aren’t missing, but in fact have been conclusively identified in the fossil record. Second, it’s impossible to pick out a single, definitive “missing link” from the broad continuum of evolution *. Paleoanthropologist John Hawks at the University of Wisconsin has the following to say about the missing link: “On the one hand, it’s a truism. We can never recover every individual that contributed genetically to today’s species, so we should expect ‘links’ to be missing. On the other, it implies total ignorance, where we usually know quite a lot about transitional forms.” *
And then there is the issue of the effect of brain damage on the soul. I once got into a conversation with Trick Slattery on his website “breakingthefreewillillusion.com” where I suggested that the afterlife may have a scientific basis. He replied: “Unfortunately, I see no real evidence for this and what seems like evidence against it. For example, if we damage our brain, we also damage our ‘consciousness’ or ‘who we are’. Indeed we can even have a loss of memory or become an entirely different person. In split-brain patients they often acquire two different personalities with different beliefs, for example, there was a case of a split-brain patient in which one ‘side’ was an atheist and the other a theist. We also can turn off consciousness via anaesthesia or other brain interactions. It seems our consciousness is tied to very specific brain configurations that, once gone, would almost certainly cease to exist.” *
So how do Christians sidestep issues like these without losing their faith? A good start may be to become less rigid in our view of the Bible.